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Wedding Woes

You don't have to wear a 'label' that doesn't 'fit'.

Dear Prudence,

Ten years ago, while I was in college, I had a sexual relationship with a friend of my father’s. I graduated high school a few years early, so I was still technically underage. The relationship was purely on my terms, largely pursued by me, and was strictly no strings attached. Eventually I sensed he had romantic feelings for me, so I ended it. I was already pretty experienced at this point. I never thought of it as anything predatory (I initiated the sex) and never felt victimized. Only a handful of people know about this (due to the fact that he was, and still is, married). I’m not ashamed of it and just thought of it as part of my sexual past. Recently with all of the #MeToo conversation, I’ve been wondering if I should feel like a victim. I’ve thought about it and even talked about it with a therapist, but I still don’t feel like I was preyed upon. Am I crazy for not feeling that I was abused?

—Was I a Victim?

Re: You don't have to wear a 'label' that doesn't 'fit'.

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    That man should have known how to say no.  Also, and off topic I know, i heard of graduating ONE year early but what school allows “a few”?

  • @CharmedPam ; If you qualify, there were ways in my school. You could take the next grade up for certain requirements like Math or English, that way when you're back in school you can either take the following grade or something else.
    Ex: Take gr 9 math during school year, take gr 10 math in summer and potentially take gr 11 math during the gr 10 school year.
  • Although the 'friend' should have said no - LW seemed to be mature enough to initiate it and end it.

    Should they feel like a victim? I would say no. They even said they didn't feel victimized.
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • I agree - don't act like a victim just because you feel like you should.  If you don't feel like one, then you don't feel like one.  
  • edited August 22
    It’s great to own your sexuality and your choices, and recognize your own consent. If you truly don’t feel like a victim then great, live your life. 

    However, peoples  feelings on experiences can change. You may have felt like you were in control at the time (and even now) but with additional introspection you may see things later on that you didn’t/couldn’t see then (predatory behavior, things he did or should have/have not done) and that can change how you feel about it. 

    Experiences also doesn’t necessarily mean maturity, so while LW may have had a lot of sexual and relationship experience that doesn’t always mean they were mature enough to manage everything that comes with those experiences. Maybe they were. Maybe not. They should give themselves the space to allow their feelings to change on this, if that happens. 
    Casadena
  • Why is this LW even looking for trouble or to feel bad?  If she doesn't feel victimized, great.  Just leave it at that.

    She doesn't tell us her actual age when the affair started just that she was "technically" underage and already experienced, so I assume she was probably 17.  And I'll admit that weighs into my own feelings on if she was a victim and how far into the "louse category" he is in.  As in 14 is very different from 17!  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    VarunaTT said:
    I feel like we need to create some words that IDK what they are.  Technically, LW is a victim simply defined as being underage of consent.  All of her feelings about everything are perfectly valid, but they are from one POV and she could be wrong about what was actually happening.  For better or worse, Lewinsky has changed from saying she was in control and not a victim, to recognizing that the inherent power imbalance between her and Clinton was something that can't be ignored and that he did use it against her to get what he wanted.

    My favorite music artist in the world, David Bowie, slept with a 14 year old girl when he was 24.  To this day, she refuses to be called a victim and says she absolutely wanted to sleep with him and cherishes the memory of the evening.  That still doesn't make a 24 year old sleeping with a 14 year old okay.

    So, I feel the need for a word that validates the "victim's" personal feelings of the situation, but also recognizes that what happened was still a predatory crime.  Not every predator is a violent act, grooming is absolutely a thing, grooming for a kind sexual relationship is absolutely a thing.  It's definitely a hard thing to discuss and categorize.
    Priscilla was under age when Elvis went after her.  But it was OK.  Because he was the King. 

    VarunaTTOliveOilsMom
  • VarunaTT said:
    I feel like we need to create some words that IDK what they are.  Technically, LW is a victim simply defined as being underage of consent.  All of her feelings about everything are perfectly valid, but they are from one POV and she could be wrong about what was actually happening.  For better or worse, Lewinsky has changed from saying she was in control and not a victim, to recognizing that the inherent power imbalance between her and Clinton was something that can't be ignored and that he did use it against her to get what he wanted.

    My favorite music artist in the world, David Bowie, slept with a 14 year old girl when he was 24.  To this day, she refuses to be called a victim and says she absolutely wanted to sleep with him and cherishes the memory of the evening.  That still doesn't make a 24 year old sleeping with a 14 year old okay.

    So, I feel the need for a word that validates the "victim's" personal feelings of the situation, but also recognizes that what happened was still a predatory crime.  Not every predator is a violent act, grooming is absolutely a thing, grooming for a kind sexual relationship is absolutely a thing.  It's definitely a hard thing to discuss and categorize.
    Priscilla was under age when Elvis went after her.  But it was OK.  Because he was the King. 
    There's a legacy of rock stars going after girls (and I'm sure it's still happening):  https://allthatsinteresting.com/rock-stars-sexual-misconduct
    mrsconn23
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    At the end of the day, the father's friend should've known better.  And done better.  I believe LW when she says that she doesn't feel like a victim, but I'd tell her given my first sentence, it's normal to think about it/mull over it/talk about it with her therapist, like she's doing. 
    VarunaTTcharlotte989875
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